Worldly new restaurant-bar Atlas puts vintage Fort Worth building on the map
A new bar and restaurant specializing in globally-inspired food and drink has debuted in Fort Worth: Called Atlas, it's a spinoff of a Dallas concept of the same name, and it's now open in the South Main Village area in the Near Southside, at 314 S. Main St. #100, in a vintage industrial building that’s been converted into a retail development.
Atlas comes from Dallas hospitality veteran Dan Bui, who opened the original Atlas in Oak Cliff in 2020. Like the Dallas location, the food and drink menus at the Fort Worth location have a broad perspective inspired by Bui's travels.
“I try to visit a new city somewhere in the world every year,” he says. “I love to learn about different cultures, their cuisines, their lifestyles. That’s why we called it 'Atlas.’ We want to celebrate different cultures through food and drinks.”
The menu is like a trip around the world, with highlights such as a Cuban sandwich, German bratwurst, beef pho, a lamb & beef gyro, carnitas tacos, and poutine, the Canadian version of loaded French fries, topped with cheese curds and brown gravy.
Drinks include international beers, wines, and cocktails, some of which are exclusive to the Fort Worth location, such as Pelloni’s Flip, made with Braulio liqueur, Old Grand-Dad 114 bourbon, rhubarb liqueur, and an egg; and the Last Tango in Ontario, comprised of Noble Oak rye whiskey, Fernet-Branca, kola nut-based syrup, allspice dram, and Peychaud’s Bitters.
Creating unique specials is part of their goal to give each location its own personality, and that includes a plan to open a location in Houston.
Atlas is the third business to open in what is a 9,000-square foot industrial building originally built in 1970 that was most recently occupied by a bail bonds company. Fort Worth-based CHC Development acquired the property in 2020 and converted it into retail space. Atlas' neighbors include buzzy wine bar The Coupe, and Buena Vida restaurant.
Bui and his business partners Danny Jester and Richard Henson have given the space a handsome makeover, outfitting it with plush seating, Persian rugs, dark-colored shelving and a fireplace, for a warm, cozy feel. Scattered throughout are pieces of art and various knickknacks Bui has acquired during his travels.
As with the original Atlas, the Fort Worth location has a speakeasy component: There’s an additional room on the other side of a bookshelf.
“I’m hesitant to call it a speakeasy,” Bui says. “It’s really more of an extension of the bar. It’ll be open only on weekends and for special events and private parties.”
He says he's grateful for the incredibly welcoming reception he's received in Fort Worth.
“I know how people in Fort Worth can be about Dallas businesses coming in,” he says. “They don’t want Fort Worth to turn into Dallas. But we’re not trying to ‘Dallas up' Fort Worth. The reason why we came to Fort Worth is because the culture in Fort Worth is so different than Dallas, which is crazy because the two cities are so close to each other. But Fort Worth has such a different vibe, such a different culture, and that’s what we want to celebrate.”